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Music and Entertainment History



Since 1980, the Briscoe Center has actively built its music collections as part of its mission to document the historical experience of the American people. The center's resources include over 50,000 commercial and field recordings, embracing every genre of music from traditional cowboy songs to hip-hop. The music collections also document the business activities of producers, record labels, and concert venues. Collectively, these resources have given the Briscoe Center an international reputation for music research.

Recommended Key Terms

The following are some recommended terms or topics to use when searching for music and music-related materials at the Briscoe Center. This is not a complete list of terms, but are merely suggestions to get your research started.

  • General terms: music; performances; records; 
  • Genres/styles of music: acoustic; bluegrass; classical; county; cultural music; folk; gospel; rhythm and blues; rock
  • Music events/festivals: Austin City Limits; Kerrville Folk Festival; South By Southwest Music and Media Conference
  • Music venues: Armadillo World Headquarters; Bass Concert Hall; Frank Erwin Center; Soap Creek Saloon; Vulcan Gas Co.
  • Musical groups/musicians: Mance Lipscomb; Willie Nelson; Tary Owens; Selena Quintanilla; Townes Van Zandt; Stevie Ray Vaughan;
  • Producers/writers: Bob Johnston; Huey P. Meaux; 
  • Types of musicians: bands; composers; musicians; pianists; singers; vocalists
  • University of Texas: Butler School of Music; Longhorn Band


Unsure about where to include photographers/disc jockeys/and other people not directly involved in the making of music. Also unsure if I should separate musicians/writers/producers or keep them all together, since fhere's a lot of overlap.

What about production companies or music-related businesses that aren't venues or events?

Cultural music - includes slave music, regional musical styles, religious styles, and nationality groups (i.e. Czech music or whatever?)


For assistance, please contact:

Briscoe Center reference department:

  • (512) 495-4166

John Wheat: Archives translator/Coordinator for Sound Archives

  • (512) 495-4559

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